Back to baking!

Ah baking, how I have missed you. But yesterday I got back in to it, with a lime, coconut and ginger cake.

I used the same basic recipe for the Lemon and Blueberry traybake I made a while back, but I swapped in lime zest and juice for lemons, left out the blueberries, added 50g coconut, and a few chunks of chopped crystallised ginger.

I was sent some Bake Even cake strips to try out, from the Cake Decorating Store website, and I used them for the first time in this recipe.

You have to soak the strips before you use them (only for a bit), and then you wrap them around the cake tin. I had to secure them with pins- for some reason I had thought they would have velcro or something, but I suppose they are completely adjustable so that would not work. I used two to go around my brownie pan, as one did not quite reach, but overlapping them is fine (according to the instructions).

I was worried it would slide off, so I put the tin on a tray too. The idea is that they help to distribute the heat evenly, so you get an even rise, and the cake is cooked the same all the way through (no cracked tops, uneven rising etc).

I was very impressed when it came out of the oven- the cake was perfectly even in colour and in height. I think these would be great to use when baking fruit cakes as they need so much longer in the oven so can become more uneven. Although next time I will use safety pins to hold the strips on.

I made up the syrup (lime juice+zest+sugar) and poured it over the warm cake.

Mmmm delicious zingy lime cake. I left it to cool overnight before I sliced it today so that the icing would set and sink in.

On to some random food photos from the week. Yesterday Andy made a lovely sweet potato chilli (he has made it before for us and it is delicious)- I decided to make some guacamole. I have been reading a book by Scott Jurek- it is half autobiography and half recipes (I think it is called Eat and Run) and the other evening I read his guacamole recipe. On holiday we treated ourselves to a Cheesecake Factory guacamole (they make it up fresh when you order it) and so I attempted to re-create this as I have been dreaming about it ever since. It contained avocado, sea salt, freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped cherry tomatoes. I did consider adding a little bit of chilli but as we were having that in the sweet potato chilli I thought a cooler guacamole would be better. It was wonderful. Mmm. And Andy even said it tasted like the Cheesecake Factory one 🙂 I had it with some iced tea as I had just spent the last hour and a bit planting out onions in the allotment.

As the weather has been getting warmer I have been making salads for my lunch. I do love them, and they fill me up so much, but they take so long to eat! Which is OK I suppose if you have a normal lunch break, but I am usually in a meeting/ doing marking/ getting resources ready for the afternoon etc, so a long lunch is not so good! Anyway, these contained spinach, balsamic, grated carrot, courgette and beetroot (all stained by the beetroot though), roasted pepper, artichoke, chickpeas, hummus, extra carrot sticks for dipping, and pine nuts. I had then with a couple of pumpkin seed ryvitas, and some fruit (although mostly I ran out of time to eat the fruit)- very summery.

This afternoon I spent some time cooking in the kitchen, as in the week I ate the last of my freezer stash of these Mexican casseroles (they were loosely based on a recipe from Oh She Glows, but I am not sure they are really a casserole at all). It is one of my favourite meals- roasted celery, peppers, red onion, quinoa, tomato, sweetcorn, some kind of beans (?), spinach, a little chilli, and then served with salad and avocado. Mmmm. I know I have mentioned it before but I think I am getting a slight avocado addiction (quite a few times on holiday I would pay to have it added to a sandwich or meal). How did I think I didn’t like them for so long?

After pottering around this morning (or watching the elite races on the TV) I went out for a run in the sunshine. It was great, but I was so hot! I only wore a vest and capris, and I wasn’t expecting it to be that tough. I suppose when it gradually warms up you have time to get used to it. I did a 6.6ish mile loop, slower than recently but it was good to be outside getting some fresh air. I made pancakes for when I got home- I added some chia seeds to the batter, and used apple and blueberry puree in them which made a nice change, and the last of my lovely Meridian mincemeat.

Well done all you marathon runners too! I loved watching it on the TV, and each year I find it so inspiring.

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15 thoughts on “Back to baking!”

  1. The London Marathon was brilliant, wasn’t it? Shame about the slow women’s race though (relatively speaking, obviously!) – I wish such great athletes wouldn’t sleepwalk through some races. Shocking incident with the wheelchair collision too!

    It’s getting too warm for me too. I know, I complain no matter what the temperature 😛 But I’m always so hot anyway, temps of 16 make me overheat.


    1. I know that crash (collision) was really bad- such a shame. But it was a great one to watch, and it looked like there were loads of crowds too.

  2. I love making guacamole, so easy but so delicious! I am a total avocado addict, I have at least 1/2 every day! I completely misjudged the temperature yesterday, it said it was going to rain heavily here yesterday and it looked cold, so I went out in my long sleeve thermal and a thermal/windbreaker hoodie and gloves, the bloody sun then came out and I was roasting, I actually felt sick in part due to the heat- not good.

  3. I do like avocado but I’m nt crazy about it. I think I need to make some guacamole to invigorate my sense a bit hehe.
    I really love the sound of that casserole recipe. Sounds really simple but really yummy. I might give this a try! Maybe even with some avocado, who knows! Hehe.
    I really enjoyed watching the marathon. I was only going to put it on in the background while I pottered about but I got transfixed. I am so keen to do one now!

  4. Yummy looking cake, I love drizzle tray bakes! I’m also interested in the sweet potato chilli, it sounds great. I’m loving the weather recently although its never been too hot recently, I’m still running in two layers!

    1. I should ask him for the recipe 🙂
      Oh gosh I get so hot so quickly when I run (although when it is cold I will wear 3 layers and never get warm- not sure why)- now it is t-shirt or vest all the way to the autumn!

  5. Those baking strips sound great, my cakes always rise unevenly so I might have to put them on my birthday list! Might have to try a lime, coconut and ginger cake too, it sounds delicious.
    The weather was amazing yesterday and I think that is the thing, it’s been so cold, we can’t quite adjust yet! (I’m quite happy to be unable to handle sun though!)

    1. I was really surprised- I thought they would stop the browning around the edges but the cake was so evenly risen too so they are worth a try for sure. They also do a pack with 4 bigger ones, and then I would image you would only need one for most cake tins.

  6. Your cake sounds amazing, such a great combo of flavours! Those thingies for the cake sound good, although I don’t really understand how they work! You have me craving guacamole now too, I do have a couple of massive avos in the fridge that need using up too!

    1. I suppose when you bake a fruit cake you are meant to line the tin with paper and put foil on the top to help with the even distribution of heat, so I think they just insulate the metal so it does not get so hot, and so the cake is cooked via the air temp and not via the metal heating up. Does that make sense?

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